Spam Report: May 2007

Contents

Spam in mail traffic

In May, spam accounted for 70% – 80% of all email traffic on the Russian Internet. No major fluctuations were observed. Spam reached a high of 86% of all email traffic on May 28th, and hit a low of 65.4% on May 21.


Spam volume: May 2007

Spam by category

Top 5 categories of spam in May 2007:

  1. Medications, health related goods and services (18.2%).
  2. Education (10.6%).
  3. Computers and the Internet (10.4%).
  4. Computer fraud (8.9%).
  5. Travel and tourism (8.6%).


Distribution of Russian Internet spam by topic:
May 2007

As usual, spammers know full well that health and healthy lifestyles are on everyone’s minds. Like last month, the medications, health related goods and services category took first place. This category includes offers for medicines and health services in addition to persistent advertisements for Viagra and similar drugs.

Restore your sex life, or just give it a little kick.

Erectile dysfunction (ED), sometimes referred to as impotence, is the inability for a sexually active male to obtain and sustain an erection for sexual purposes. In the past, this has been very embarrassing for men, and a source of anxiety for their partners, and, in fact, there has been very little diagnostic testing or treatment options available until very recently.

Viagra can help you!

The benefits of Viagra:

• Helps men with ED achieve harder erections

• Helps men with ED maintain an erection during sex

• Can work in as little as 14 minutes

• Viagra-induced erections satisfy the partners of men with ED

• Has a proven safety record

• Works for men with ED who also have a wide range of health issues

• Can be taken with other medications

• As safe for your heart as a sugar pill

Visit our online pill shop!
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The electronic advertising services category fell in May, as did computer fraud, which placed third in April.

We continued to observe a decline in the personal finance category. This category has been falling practically since the beginning of the year. The amount of personal finance spam fell to a new low of 2.1% in the last week of May.

The travel and tourism category, on the other hand, has increased. This category includes typical Russian-language offers targeted primarily at residents of Russia. The end of spring and summer is the vacation season for the workforce and for students.

Small Russian tourist agencies are not too proud to use spam as a means of advertising and are flooding inboxes with their offers. Some other, more subtle tourism offers have also appeared recently. For example, one piece of spam doesn’t only propose going overseas to relax, but also to get married!

Criminalization of spam

May saw a series of attacks against the Yandex.Money payment system. Kaspersky Lab reported on one of the first attacks on May16th, on its Russian language site dedicated to spam. The objective of the attack was not unusual: spammers tried to convince users to enter their personal data on a phishing site in order to obtain access to payment system accounts. The users who fell for this ploy had their payment account funds stolen.

Technical tricks

The amount of spam using graphical attachments is still on the decline. In May the percentage of this kind of spam amounted to 19.3%, down from 23% in April and 25.7% in March.

The decrease of graphical spam does not at all mean that spammers will stop using images in spam. Since many filters are already adept at working with graphical file attachments and are able to block this kind of spam, spammers are looking for new ways to deliver graphical information.

In May spammers attempted a new technique to deliver their images. Now spammers are placing their source graphical files on special hosting sites (such as imageshack.us, imagenerd.com, imgnation.net, hostpic.biz and imgplace.com). When the recipient opens his email, the image is downloaded from the hosting site.

Monthly update

  • Spam accounted for 70% – 80% of all email.
  • May’s leading spam included Viagra and the gang.
  • The amount of spam offers for travel and tourism is up 4.7% from April.
  • Spam offering stocks has continued to fade, now down 2.3% from April.
  • There was a series of attacks against the Yandex.Money system.
  • Technical innovations include graphical files that are not attached to emails, but downloaded from a link put in the body of the email.

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